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ECAC Hockey: Men’s Player Rankings

Photo Courtesy: Harvard Athletics

By: Q30 Sports men’s ice hockey beat team

First off, let’s address something. These player rankings are completely subjective and us four Quinnipiac beat writers are likely to have differing lists. That being said, we are attempting to list the top five players in the conference so far this year. That doesn’t mean we are listing the most talented guys or the ones with strictly the most points. The question we are essentially asking: who is playing the best right now?

 

 

THE CONSENSUS TOP FIVE RANKINGS

After each of us came up with our list to determine the best players in ECAC Hockey right now, we decided on making a point system to come up with a consensus top five. If a player is first on a beat reporter’s list, they will receive five points. If they are the second name on a list, they will garner four points to their name. The trend continues onwards. Not only that, each player will receive an additional point for how many of the lists they appeared on (EX: Ryan Donato appeared on all four lists, so he will receive four bonus points in addition to his cumulative totals). With that said, here is our consensus top five power rankings (with quite a few ties).

 

(PC: Quinnipiac Athletics)

 

NUMBER FIVE- Odeen Tufto (F, Quinnipiac… 2 points)

Odeen Tufto might only have two points to his name in our overall rankings, but don’t be fooled- the freshman is a crucial part of the Quinnipiac offense. Tufto enjoyed a prolific start to his collegiate career, as he tallied a point in five straight games against the likes of Boston College, Boston University, Vermont and Northeastern. Recognized as a highly skilled and high IQ forward, the Minnesota native can pick a pass better than almost anyone in ECAC Hockey. Tufto currently leads the conference in assists with 20. On the Quinnipiac roster, he has 11 more assists than Chase Priskie, who is second place in that category. There is a reason college hockey powerhouses Boston College, Denver and Notre Dame all showed interest in the 5’7″ playmaker. If the Bobcats are to recover from their rough start to the season, Tufto’s strong play and keen eye for a pass will be at the forefront of the team’s resurgence.

 

(PC: DevBross14)

 

NUMBER FOUR- Devin Brosseau (F, Clarkson… 6 points)

Just like the aforementioned Odeen Tufto, Devin Brosseau is a premier passer of the puck. However, unlike Tufto, the sophomore forward has 19 helpers for a Clarkson Golden Knights team that is currently undefeated in ECAC play. Brosseau has assisted in 14 of Clarkson’s 22 games this season- good for nearly two thirds of the hockey games he has laced up for this season. The former Nanaimo Clippers forward also has an innate ability to score on the man advantage. He does not score much, but four of his five tallies have come while Clarkson has been on the power play. Brosseau is a player with a killer instinct- he comes up with the goods when his team needs him. Besides his hockey ability, the Quebec native is also an important fixture off the ice. Brosseau was named an assistant captain as a sophomore, something that speaks volumes about his character and hunger to help his squad win hockey games. His elite vision on the ice to find open teammates combined with both leadership credentials and the ability to step up in big moments has thrusted the sophomore into the limelight of college hockey. Clarkson will need all of his star power if they want to end the season as the best team in the nation.

 

(PC: NCAA.com)

 

NUMBER FOUR- Colton Point (G, Colgate… 6 points)

Colton Point finished the end of last season strong. The third round draft pick of the Dallas Stars shut the door on his freshman campaign with a .936 save percentage in his final six games. A key question coming into the season for the Colgate Raiders was whether or not Point would be able to keep up his high level of play as a sophomore. Thankfully for Don Vaughan, Point has been a massive presence in between the pipes for the Raiders. With only 24 goals in ECAC play, Colgate has consistently relied on the Ontario native to keep the puck out of the net and bail out their low-octane offense. Point has responded by only giving up more than 3 goals in 5 of his 19 appearances. In comparison, in the three games the 6’4 netminder has missed, the Raiders have given up a minimum of four goals. Not only that, Point’s dominant start to the year saw him earn an invite to the World Junior Championships, where he represented Team Canada and won a gold medal. Although he played second fiddle to starting goaltender and professional player Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers), Point started one game and stopped 20 shots to pick up a shutout against Slovakia. Colton Point is absolutely vital to Colgate’s postseason success. If he continues playing at the level he is currently at, the Raiders might be able to continuing stealing wins against some of the best teams in college hockey.

 

(PC: Times Union)

 

NUMBER THREE- Ryan Scarfo (F, Union… 7 points)

When Mike Vecchione (Philadelphia Flyers) and Spencer Foo (Calgary Flames) departed upstate New York for professional hockey, there was serious questions as to who would provide offense for the Dutchmen. Most picked out their younger linemate Sebastian Vidmar, who averaged over a point a game, as someone who would be handed the keys of the offense. Others marked assistant captain Brett Supinski and current captain Cole Maier as players ready to join Vidmar as his supporting cast. Ryan Scarfo was a bit of an afterthought. And that was a mistake.

The senior forward is giving ECAC Hockey everything he has in his final year of college hockey. The Massachusetts native is currently in the top three in the ECAC in goals, assists and points. When it rains for Scarfo, it pours. Union’s number nine has recorded seven multi-point games, with three of those coming against fellow ECAC opposition (Dartmouth, Harvard, RPI). Besides his scoring prowess, Scarfo is a bonafide leader of his hockey team and well-respected in the locker room. This is evidenced by him wearing the ‘A’ on his jersey for the third year running. He has always been a good skater and quality physical presence for the Dutchmen. When he added goals to his game, he became noticed. Finally, in the second half of his senior year, Scarfo is getting the recognition he deserves.

 

(PC: ECAC Hockey)

 

NUMBER TWO- Jake Kielly (G, Clarkson… 14 points)

Jake Kielly had a solid freshman year. In 35 games, the Minnesota native compiled a .256 goals-against average to accompany his .911 save percentage. His respectable numbers showed room for improvement. 

The sophomore has played lights-out for Clarkson. His puck-stopping abilities have been on full display for the No. 2 ranked team in the country. His statistical dominance continues, as Kielly’s durability has allowed for him to start all 20 Golden Knights contests. The ECAC Goaltender of the Month in October, November and December has played every single minute in the cage for Clarkson.  

His statistics speak for themselves, but Kielly is more than just a bunch of numbers. The 6’2″ sophomore has improved tremendously in making himself big in the crease at the right moments and tracking pucks. His ability to see through screens has improved dramatically, as his quick reactions have led him to 528 saves, good for third in the conference. Jake Kielly has taken the college hockey world by storm with a string of phenomenal performances in between the pipes. It looks as if he has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.

 

(PC: College Hockey Update)

 

NUMBER TWO- Sheldon Rempal (F, Clarkson… 14 points)

Coming into this season, the Clarkson Golden Knights were facing a daunting task of replacing their top four scorers from the previous year. Sheldon Rempal had a good freshman year, where he tallied 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points. Just halfway through his sophomore season, Rempal has topped that with 25 points. His chemistry with Nico Sturm and former Nanaimo Clippers teammate Devin Brosseau is impeccable on Clarkson’s top line. The Calgary native entered the winter break of college as the leading scorer in all of college hockey. His ability to put the puck in the back of the net (he has five games this year with 2 or more goals) has fired Clarkson to the top of the ECAC standings. Rempal scores for fun, and scores when he wants. All of the talk about Rempal is that he is a pure goalscorer, and this is true, but the 5’10″ forward loves an assist as well, with twelve of them this year. The two-time ECAC Hockey player of the week has garnered a goal or assist in 16 of Clarkson’s first 22 games. If Clarkson wants to stay undefeated in conference play and win the Frozen Four this season, they will need to ride every part of Sheldon Rempal’s career year to Minneapolis. Right now, it looks as if Rempal is up to the task.

 

(PC: Hockeys Future’s)

 

NUMBER ONE- Ryan Donato (F, Harvard… 24 points)

It isn’t a stretch by any means to call Ryan Donato the most talented player in ECAC Hockey. The junior has improved every year he has laced up for the Harvard Crimson. After his sophomore season where Donato had 25 points in 2017 alone (40 in total) and won Ivy League Player of the Year, it was always going to be fun to see how the Massachusetts forward was going to raise his game. Under the influence of head coach and father Ted Donato, Ryan has played at a high level to start off his junior season.

Although statistics are important, Donato is a player that certainly is not defined by them. A high-IQ player with elite level decision-making and pure skill, the Boston Bruin’s prospect looks to translate seamlessly into the National Hockey League at some point in the next few years. His reputation of scorching defenses in ECAC Hockey has given him the opportunity to represent the United States at the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea. Harvard is going to sorely miss a player next month who accounts for about a third of its goals this season, and is eleven goals ahead of their next top scorer. With 24 out of a possible 25 points to receive in the power rankings, Ryan Donato clears a talented field by 10 points to rightfully assume the top spot in the rankings.

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